The Stila Dancing with the Stars Illuminating Powder ($16) was released in the summer of 2013 as part of the limited edition, Ulta-exclusive Dancing with the Stars collection. I managed to find one last, lonely compact at the store a few months ago, bought it and put it aside as a Christmas present to myself.
Everyone has a type of makeup product that they go gaga over. For some it’s blush, others lipstick, etc. For me it’s highlighters. The more the merrier. The glowier the better (although I do use and love subtler highlighters).
Stila’s Dancing with the Stars Illuminating Powder is a pink champagne colored highlighter with a gorgeous embossed star pattern. Aesthetically, it’s hard to resist, no? I’m sure you can understand why I had to have it once I’d laid eyes on it.
The texture is creamy to the touch but quite powdery. If you’ve ever used Stila’s “In the…” eye shadow palettes or their All Over Shimmer Powder in Kitten, the loosely pressed, powdery formula won’t come as a surprise to you. Neither will the pigmentation which is excellent. I mean, woah, Nelly! This is one powerfully shiny, super glowy highlighter.
Stila claims that this powder will give a “touch of dewy radiance to any look.” A touch? Nah, try slapped upside the head with dewiness. This is one of the glowiest, frostiest highlighters I’ve ever used. Swatched heavily, it’s even more shiny and frosty-metallic than thebalm’s Mary-Lou Manizer which is already for many people over the top.
I know the texture and finish of the Stila DWTS highlighter is not going to be everyone’s cup of tea but for those who love an insanely shiny highlighter this powder was made for you. It’s crazy pigmented and blends so easily. You only need to tap your brush to the powder with a featherlight touch and, just with that tiny amount of product, aliens in outer space will be able to see the glow coming off your cheekbones. Don’t even think about swirling your brush in the powder because not only will you create a mess in the pan, you’ll end up looking like the Tin Man.
I personally think the powder is very pretty but definitely more appropriate for an indoor setting with artificial lighting or the dim lighting of a candlelit dinner. In those conditions the powder does impart an incomparable dewy finish to the skin. But under the harsh, unforgiving light of direct sunlight (or even flash photography) the shimmer is noticeable. I like the Stila highlighter but it’s not something I’d feel comfortable wearing outside on a sunny day. Inside an office, sure, just not outside where the the shimmer will catch the light.
ETA: I wanted to note that the shimmer in the Stila DWTS powder is definitely more refined than the shimmer in the sparkly Becca SSP Pressed Rose Gold powder. The finish of the DWTS powder is frosty with very fine shimmer. It’s not as refined as Mary-Lou Manizer but more so compared to the Becca powder which possesses larger, more easily detectable
particles of shimmer sparkle.